Readers' Choice Northwest: Lost River Range, ID

Want guaranteed peace and quiet? Hike to two of the Lower 48's most remote alpine lakes.

Golden Larches - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA | Wahtum Lake, OR | Lost River Range, ID | South Spur, Mt. Adams, WA | Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier NP, WA | North Cascades NP, WA

This enclave of 12,000-foot peaks and pristine lakes lies about as far from a major city as you can get outside of Alaska—it’s four very rural hours’ drive from Boise’s 200,000 residents. And the Shadow Lakes, at 9,750 feet, are two of the most deserted alpine ponds you can reach by trail in this region. Follow Long Lost Creek Trail #194 and the Shadow Lake/East Side Crest Trail #92 a total of four miles and about 1,600 feet uphill to the lakes.

Tom Lopez, who literally wrote the book on Idaho climbing, says, “This rocky lake is seldom visited because of its location and access difficulties. You will not be disappointed.” From your campsite at the upper lake, you can scramble 11,401-foot Shadow Lake Peak’s southeast ridge, with the option of continuing south on the connecting ridge to 11,724-foot Ross Peak. Return the way you came for a half-day side trip.


Driving From the Pahsimeroi Highway in Clyde (north of Howe), drive Pass Creek Summit and Dry Creek Rds. to Long Lost Creek Rd. and continue to its end (4WD required for the last four miles).

Map and Guide
USGS quad: Massacre Mountain ($9, store; Idaho—A Climbing Guide, by Tom Lopez ($35,

Contact (208) 588-3400,